Addis Ababa City acting mayor, Takele Uma, confirmed that clash between riot police and followers of Ethiopian Church left two dead following controversy over demolition
February 5, 2020
At least two people are reportedly killed, and several others hurt, including elders, as deployed Federal police in the capital Addis Ababa unleashed attacks on followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
The incident happened near St. Gabriel Hosptial when the government task force arrived on-site overnight on the night of February 4 to demolish a church. Faithfuls of the church were in the business of defending their church when police opened fire and killed two of them around 1 a.m.
Different narratives about the incident
DW Amharic reporter in Addis Ababa, Yohannes Gebreegziabhier, spoke to what he eyewitness. “The clash in the locality of 22 or 24 in Addis Ababa happened when some who claim to be followers of the church began to build a church saying they got a revelation in their dream to build a church in the area and the police,” he reported.
However, DW Amharic report admitted that the Federal Police arrived on the site around 1 a.m. local time to remove people in a fenced area and that it fired tear gas. “As police open fire, followers of the church from the area clashed with security forces,” DW reporter cited “eyewitnesses.”
There has been continuous gunfire up until dawn, and residents were unable to send their children to school because of the security situation in the area.
Adebabay media, on the other hand, reported on February 4 that the clash between police and followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the area happened around 1 a.m. when riot police arrived at the scene to demolish a church constructed near Afro Tsion Construction confirming that two people were killed.
The source also cited its sources to report that 22 people are detained. And the detention came after a house to house search.
More offensive to the followers of the church, which apparently triggered the clash, was that the riot police tried to take the ArK from the church. Many feel that the attack is directed against the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Acting Mayor of Addis Ababa City, Takele Uma, met with journalists on Wednesday, February 5. He confirmed that two young people are killed in 22 locality of Addis Ababa and that 7 suspects are arrested. Seeminlgy, they were shot by the riot police.
An investigation is underway and the mayor also said that among those in detention are government officials with leadership positions in the city administration.
“Although the place where the church was built was not appropriate, the move to demolish it during the night time was inappropriate and an investigation is underway to determine as to who ordered the deployment for the demolition,” he said.
Identities of the victims is not disclosed. Social media sources says one of the victim is Michael Fanos, who was said to be 25 years of age. Residents in the area say, based on social media sources, police opened fire when youth from the are were chanting religious songs within the church premise.
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